Entrepreneur Eli Zabar to speak at Cornell School of Hotel Administration

Sep 28, 2010

Contact:  Lauren Benfante, 607.255.0179, lrb67@cornell.edu

Eli Zabar is the founder of an ever-evolving gourmet food empire in New York City. Next Tuesday, October 5, 2010, he will be the featured speaker in the Conversations with Entrepreneurs series presented by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell University. Zabar will speak about his entrepreneurial adventures from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. in 198 Statler Hall. He will dine with selected students after the event and meet with students, staff, and faculty the following day.

The youngest son of Louis and Lillian Zabar, founders of the landmark delicatessen on New York's Upper West Side, Eli Zabar has made a career for himself by pursuing what interests him and following his instincts and passions. He has let his business evolve organically, finding inspiration in the food halls and open-air markets of Europe and in simply prepared dishes that use the finest ingredients available. Although he tried his hand at teaching and real estate, his first love has always been the world of gourmet food.

Beginning with a small shop on Madison Avenue, selling pots, pans, and packaged foods, Zabar's world has evolved over the course of 35 years to include E.A.T, a gourmet deli, café, and caterer; Eli's Bread, one of the largest artisanal wholesale bakeries in the United States; Eli's Vinegar Factory, an ever-changing food hall that serves a weekend brunch New Yorker's have come to call "the best"; and Eli's Manhattan, his 20,000 sq. ft. flagship store.

In 2002, he opened TASTE, a restaurant and wine bar, which was followed by W.I.N.E., a boutique wine store that reflects Zabar's preference for affordable wines from lesser-known producers. In August 2008, he partnered with the Peconic Land Trust to reopen the historic Amagansett Farmers Market on Long Island.

The Conversations with Entrepreneurs series is sponsored by Hotelie Entrepreneurs, Cornell Hospitality Advisors, and eClips.